Forget Reproductions - Preserve History
I have finished adding my collection of Spalding and Reach Guides, and Converse Yearbooks to the website. My hope is to show you an example of almost every guide out there from these companies. A side benefit for me is that I don't have to dig through all my guides to determine what I am lacking. In some cases, I have also added information to assist you as you try to collect these items.
It is amazing to me that the newest Spalding guide is 74 years old this year! Sometimes I forget this because it is easy to get focused on the older guides in the set. However, I can tell you that completing these sets, or even getting close to completing them is a monumental task. Finding guides with covers; in decent shape, and at the right price are all challenging obstacles.
The guide and yearbook collections you are viewing on this website are rarely seen in one group, except perhaps in college or museum archives. While some private collectors have similar collections, there aren't many of us out there. As time goes on, there will be less chance to collect these great books. Companies are reproducing this material in masses and in my opinion, ruining the hobby for those who cherish original material. Additionally, some people are buying these books and disassembling the guides to sell the individual ads. It is a shame to see such historic collections destroyed in these manners.
As for my guides, all have been stored in archival materials to prevent deterioration. I hope you enjoy viewing the collection. Eventually, I'll have my contact information available if you have any questions or have a guide that I need. Thanks!
The Best of the Tobacco Premiums
I am making progress on adding items to the website. When all is complete, I hope to have approximately 2000 items on the website - so this will take some time! My initial goal will be to load as many items on here as possible. All items are currently in my personal collection. Eventually, I will add some items for reference that I don't own, but want to own!
I will attempt to place accurate information on here. At some point - not quite yet - I will have a method where you can send me information to help correct discrepancies. My goal is to make this into a site that can be used for reference in case you have questions about vintage basketball.
So if you are wondering which tobacco premiums are considered to be the elite "basket ball" items out there, I would have to say the Hamilton King Premiums from 1912-13. If you don't know about the "Basket Ball Girl", you need to! Take a look at these when you get the chance.
Luck on My Side
I would think it is the hope of almost every collector to find that one item that makes your collection significant. I certainly have felt that way over the years - about several items! As we learn more about our interests and gain knowledge of our hobby, it is natural for us to seek out special items. The pursuit of the item can be incredibly fun. However, if that pursuit goes too long, it can drive you crazy. Sometimes having the money to buy an item is not enough. You have to find the item first; then you have to convince the owner to sell it, and only then can you purchase the item and mark it off your list. It can be absolutely impossible and sometimes, it just takes complete luck.
Sometime around 2001, I learned of an item that caught my intrigue. I collect almost everything related to vintage basketball, so when I was told about a basketball board game from 1898, I was interested to say the very least. For a few years, I searched out this game. I heard stories from people who had the game and sold it. I heard stories from people who saw the game and passed on buying it. After a few years of aggressive searching, I even met people who owned the game, but had no interest in selling it. After nearly a decade, I had almost given up.
On night in late October of 2010, I bid on an Ebay item. I couldn't tell you what it was I bid on that day. I headed to dinner with the family and upon return, I had an email from the seller. He had noticed my Ebay ID and wanted to ask questions about this basketball related board game he owned. He told me it was from 1898 - and that is all I needed to know!
I contacted the owner and began to hammer our a deal for the game. We talked a long time about the game and various topics. He has been a collegiate basketball player himself and he even talked about meeting Jim Brown in college! As much as I enjoyed the chance to acquire the game, I enjoyed conversing with Pete about basketball history nearly as much.
On November 2, 2010, he agreed to sell the game to me. On December 4, 2010, it became part of my collection. What game is it? "The Game of Basket Ball", published by Selchow and Chaffee who likely produced the game for McLoughlin Brothers, Inc.
Finding this game is one of the most satisfying moments in my collecting career. It is one of my most cherished items in my collection. Thank you to Pete C. who made my dream of owning this game a reality.